For one of my classes, I had to brainstorm pain points about living at UC Davis and improve the experience using UX Design. I chose to tackle the difficulty of how new students get involved with campus clubs. I was then given a design prompt on that topic from the professor with 1 week to work on it. Since I did not have a lot of time to work on this assignment, my approach reduced iteration time by extracting as much information as possible from user interviews and the prompt.
A new school year is approaching and the orientation team is looking to you for some design expertise.
Design an experience for new students to browse, search, and propose new student organizations.
Any "experience” with features that allow students to browse, search, and propose new student organizations. The browsing and searching features will show all organizations at the school.
This is for for "new students". In this case, I will assumed that this implied undergraduate college students. Based on that assumption, I divided new undergraduates into freshman and transfers subgroups.
Because students explore campus during orientation, I assume that this is will be used on-the-go. First uses will be during orientation and the first weeks of school. Later on, some students will continue to use it throughout college to explore more organizations.
Students need a low-friction, low-learning curve tool to be get information about clubs. Nothing like that exists for the school so far, so creating this would have a big impact on integrating new students into campus culture.
With the task identified, I began reaching out to students for interviews.
I interviewed 5 people who I thought my design might impact: 3 freshman students, 1 transfer student, and 1 student organization leader. I asked a lot of followup questions, but here are some questions that I made sure to ask:
After my interviews, I synthesized my user research into personas.
Fatema is an ambitious junior college transfer student. She is looking to get into engineering organizations to prepare herself for the industry. She currently is taking a lot of classes, so she needs to be selective with her involvement. She is looking to join a well accomplished organization that fits into her schedule and has an inexpensive membership fee. Fatema plans on reaching out to organization leaders to gauge how useful and enjoyable their experiences have been at the organization. If she finds the right fit, she would also want to know if she has any connections in the club that might vouch for her acceptance.
Anthony is a social butterfly who is looking to develop his social network. He hasn’t thought a lot about what he wants to join, but he is open to exploring new experiences. He doesn’t like being in homogenous social circles, so he is also looking to be involved in more diverse clubs. Since Anthony has a very close group of friends, they plan on exploring organizations together.
Bryce is a huge board game geek. He couldn’t find any D&D groups on campus, so he wants to start his own. He is going to be looking for a group of people with similar interests who can meet on a weekly basis. He will also need to look at university club policies to learn what the club can and cannot do when they meet on campus.
If I had more time, I would have considered other personas such as organization leaders, organization council staff, and proposal approvers, but I will focus on these three due to time limitations.
Not all design ideas are reasonable, so I wanted to evaluate mine using two dimensions: impact and feasibility. Impact considers how useful an idea or feature will be to a user, and how many users will use it. Feasibility considers the expertise and manpower required to develop an idea.
During the evaluation process I asked a Staff Software Engineer to help me understand the feasibility of some of my ideas.
3Mobile browser experience
4Desktop browser experience
1Appointment system for member screenings and Q&As
2Social media and contact links
3Information about an organization's mission, time commitment, fees, and accomplishments
4Club schedule section
5Facebook contact syncing
2External messaging integration
4Google calendar invites to organization meetings
5Demographics information section
7Saved organizations list
1Social upvoting system
2School approval by humans
3School approval by system
4In-app information about school organization regulations
5External link to information about school organization regulations
6Common interest groups
1Navigation bar including "Profile", "Messages", "Proposals", "Browse", and "Search"
2Search for organizations or areas of interest
4Apply or cancel filter choices
5Interact with filter fields
6Cards display information that was specified in a filter
7Organization title and banner image
8Save the organization or share it with your friends
9Take the next step towards joining
10Scroll through friends in the organization
11Contact a board member with questions
1Customize what is shown to you on the browse screen according to your interests
2Get shown organizations that match your preferences
3See how many friends are in an organization
4Save an organization to your list, found under your profile
5Share an organization through various methods
6Search your contacts
7Modify your sharing message
8Choose who to send your message to
1Create a proposal or filter the proposals shown to you
2See if the university has verified an idea based on their guidelines
3See how much community approval an idea is getting
4Save your idea as a draft or submit it to the community
5Get redirected to a university webpage addressing their policies
6Enter your ideas into the input fields
7Keep track of how your ideas and how they are being received
Since this is a web-app experience for college students, there are a lot of opportunities track the app's success.
By using tools like Google Analytics, user traffic would be very helpful in seeing how many students are using the web-app, and seeing the trend of its use across each school year.
If the main purpose of this app is to facilitate new students joining organizations, the orientation team might also consider tracking the clicks on the "Get Involved" button of organization pages using Google Tag Manager. This would allow you to see the stream of people that are engaging in organization through the tool.
Because primary users are college students, the team has the luxury of answering more complicated questions easily. If they want to assess the usability of the experience through contextual inquiries or interviews, they can take advantage of the fact that participants are readily available on campus.
The next step would be to facilitate a handoff using a tool like Zeplin.